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  1. #21
    Kerik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Lipka
    It's work created strictly for the gallery and/or museum rather than for the general public.
    Face it, the general public doesn't give a rat's ass about art. Nor do they even know what art is (just make sure it matches the couch). Don't forget, they think that Thomas Kinkade is a modern master. It the "general public" is your intended audience, well good luck...

    Kerik
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  2. #22
    david b's Avatar
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    JPW's work had an $8000 price tag.

  3. #23
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    Well, I, for one - am so happy that his work is out there. I think it's some of the most beautiful and mortal work out there. "Staged" photography has an incredibly rich tradition - going back esp. to Niepce and the like... F.Holland Day, Muybridge. In fact, I would venture to suggest that Witkin chose this method because of it's link to early photography and to borrow semantic qualities found therein. Anyway - I think it's gorgeous, touching and brave - and it really makes AA and the crew look like fools IMHO. A genius use of large format and traditonal technologies. Yes, I love Serrano also. There will always be those very unsophisticated individuals when it comes to the issue of representation - who will think that portraying a corpse indicates a predisposition towards necrophilia. But perhaps that says much more about the person with that perception than the object of their derision. If we can have the neutered banality of Adams - why can't we have the Witkins and Serranos as well?

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne
    even the copout "I am not trying to debate whether the stuff is good or what is right or ethical or sick or whatever else" attitude that his supporters have.
    I wasn't coping out. I wasn't trying to debate those issues, which I clearly said were suitable for debate. I was stating that if your going to make a stab, justify it... You have valid opinions too, and so does everyone else that dislikes his work. Don't just come in, make a stab at his supporters and then leave.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne
    He should be in jail and his sympathizers should be in therapy.
    Ha ha ha ha ha.....

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    Well, I, for one - am so happy that his work is out there. I think it's some of the most beautiful and mortal work out there. "Staged" photography has an incredibly rich tradition - going back esp. to Niepce and the like... F.Holland Day, Muybridge. In fact, I would venture to suggest that Witkin chose this method because of it's link to early photography and to borrow semantic qualities found therein. Anyway - I think it's gorgeous, touching and brave - and it really makes AA and the crew look like fools IMHO. A genius use of large format and traditonal technologies. Yes, I love Serrano also. There will always be those very unsophisticated individuals when it comes to the issue of representation - who will think that portraying a corpse indicates a predisposition towards necrophilia. But perhaps that says much more about the person with that perception than the object of their derision. If we can have the neutered banality of Adams - why can't we have the Witkins and Serranos as well?
    Aww plueeeassee.....! I have always wondered why some people equate "sophistication" with admiring shocking subjects. Lets start first with Serrano, I am sure your acceptance of his work has to do with the "Christ in piss" picture. Well, let me tell you this was mostly a religious group hoollaboo, and his picture was taken out of context of the work he was doing at the time. Serrano was working on Santeria, religious ceremonies mainly practiced in the Caribbean islands which date back to their African origins. Santeria rituals involve the use of human fluids and religious icons, blood, semen, urine. People who got upset about the "Christ in piss" picture, mainly got upset because they looked at the title and failed to see how the photograph fit with the rest of the work. There was nothing shocking, insulting or wrong with the Serrano work.

    OTOH we have JPW who decides he is going to play with human remains illegally and without consent and people say...wow, what genius! Now, I know some people will say, well he was invited by people in Mexico to do this....SO WHAT? If I invite you to come to Mexico and rob banks and kill people, does that make it right?

    In any case, the only shocking idea with JPW's pictures is that he used real cadavers, if the intention was to wrestle with his inner demons, he could have had latex parts manufactured and he could have played with them whichever way he wanted to his heart content. Instead he came to Mexico and illegally used body parts to make pictures which have no journalistic value, these were meant to be "art." Every time this discussion surfaces, those of you admiring Witkin`s work always fail to answer this simple question, if there is nothing wrong with this, how come he did not do it in the US?

    I have no problem with his misshapen human pictures, these people are free to do as they wish and if they want to pose for Witkin more the power to them, but there has to come a time when one has to draw a line between what is morally right and what is not, and using animals and human remains as if they were your play things IMO crosses that line. As I said, what is the big deal? Go to any S&M store, go nuts buying all the chains and stuff and then hang your dog from one of them and take pictures while it dies...you are now as much a "genius" as Witkin.

    Sorry, but your idea of sophistication falls far short of mine.

  6. #26

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    Jorge is entirely right, and I also have no objection to his (or anyone's) work with live, voluntary human subjects. It never fails to amaze me how many people will admit publicly that they sympathize with a deranged criminal, and think them great artists. Well good for you, I hope you are proud! Without accomplices like you, JPW couldnt do what he does.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    Well, I, for one - am so happy that his work is out there. I think it's some of the most beautiful and mortal work out there. "Staged" photography has an incredibly rich tradition - going back esp. to Niepce and the like... F.Holland Day, Muybridge. In fact, I would venture to suggest that Witkin chose this method because of it's link to early photography and to borrow semantic qualities found therein. Anyway - I think it's gorgeous, touching and brave - and it really makes AA and the crew look like fools IMHO. A genius use of large format and traditonal technologies. Yes, I love Serrano also. There will always be those very unsophisticated individuals when it comes to the issue of representation - who will think that portraying a corpse indicates a predisposition towards necrophilia. But perhaps that says much more about the person with that perception than the object of their derision. If we can have the neutered banality of Adams - why can't we have the Witkins and Serranos as well?
    ROFL-Do you really think I was objecting to staged photography? You miss the point entirely. Did I say anything about necrophilia? No, and I wasnt thinking it either(although you can probably find art in that too). Its not surprising you think yourself more sophisticated than others, while you cant even comprehend the simplest things.

  8. #28

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    If JPW's use of cadavers was illegal, is there any reason the Mexican or American authorities would not use his pictures as evidence to proscecute?

    Frankly, his work sickens me. If it were etchings, drawings, anything but a photographic reality, such images might have that certain distance that suggests a state of imagination, such as illustrations from Dante's Inferno. But photography like his is much about "being there" and I don't want to "be there" exploiting corpses like that.

    Buyers of this work who think they are sophisticated should recognize the Being There and how it relates to their desire to own something like this, to be a part of it.
    Last edited by jjstafford; 07-22-2005 at 07:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjstafford
    If JPW's use of cadavers was illegal, is there any reason the Mexican or American authorities would not use his pictures as evidence to proscecute?
    I dont know how much if any of his more loathsome work has been done in the US, where it certainly would be-and should be- illegal.

  10. #30
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    There will always be those very unsophisticated individuals when it comes to the issue of representation - who will think that portraying a corpse indicates a predisposition towards necrophilia. But perhaps that says much more about the person with that perception than the object of their derision. If we can have the neutered banality of Adams - why can't we have the Witkins and Serranos as well?
    Let me see if I understand what you said Sparky; Anyone who doesn't appreciate the likes of Witkin is unsophisticated? And what are your qualifications for being sophisticated?
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

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